Monday, August 13, 2012

No marathon, one marathon, two.

Three years ago I ran my first half marathon on my 29th birthday. I said I’d never run a full marathon.
Over the last two years, I have run about 5 or 6 more half marathons. I said I’d never run a full marathon.
I even bought a shirt at a race expo that read: “13.1 because I am only half crazy.” Again, I affirmed that I am not crazy enough to run a full marathon.

Last year, I made a bucket list. I decided 2012 would be the year I’d run a marathon.
I picked a race in mid November to give myself plenty of time to procrastinate build base mileage.
I haven’t wrapped my head around the fact that I am actually going to do this.
In July, I met a Chicago high school track coach while out on a training run.
 He has worked with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for over a decade. He said that he could get me a guaranteed entry.
I smiled, nodded and gave him my work email address. Surely he won’t call. The race sold out in 5 days and clearly I am not ready for such high caliber event.
He called. He faxed an entry form and a letter.
I stared at my guaranteed entry form for two hours at work. Am I really about to do this?
I posted it on Facebook and Instagram. Surely, one of the runners will talk some sense into me.

I have not run enough miles.  The Chicago Marathon is a full month earlier than the race I am training for. That weekend is supposed to be my 20-miler.
I justified it by telling myself that I could use it as a training run for the real marathon I’ll be running in November.
I filled out the form as fast as I could before I came to my senses changed my mind.

Three years ago, I said I’d never run a marathon.
Last year, I said I’d run it only once.
This year... I’m running two.


Monday, July 23, 2012


It's official. I am currently in the throws an obsession: training for my first full marathon. The funniest thing (or most ironic, I should say)  about it is that I haven't even registered for the race yet. I registered for the Chicago Half Marathon, which coincides with training week 9 of my Hal Higdon intermediate training program: run a half marathon. Somehow though, I have not registered for the actual race to which I am obsessing over. Maybe it is a sign. Maybe it isn't at all.

I am by no means a novice runner, but I am new to the marathon. I have run all my life. I started competing in the 6th grade. I was a sprinter in high school and college; and a not too shabby one at that. I've won many championships and even was an assistant coach on an NCAA Division I conference championship program. So why is this so hard? I have no idea. I've run a few half marathons and a handful of 5ks and 10ks, but what makes the marathon so different? Its still running, just farther. There are no steeples, no water jumps, no batons or blocks. Just 26.2 unwavering miles.

I can picture myself on race day slowly starting the race, getting into a groove, stopping when I need to and cruising through just about every water station. I can picture myself crossing the finish line. What I can't picture myself doing is running a 6 mile tempo this Wednesday or running 4 miles early tomorrow morning because I have a hair appointment at 5:30 or somehow fitting in a 14 mile long run over Labor Day weekend (amidst my bf's family reunion - which is another post entirely).

What is this phenomenon of marathon training? I've trained before. I've raced before, but there is something about marathon training that feels different.

My boss is an Iron Man. He just completed his second Iron Man competition this past weekend, beating his PR by over an hour. If he can do a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, followed by a full 26.2 mile run surely I can run a marathon. But the crazy part is that I know I can run the marathon. I just don't know if I can train for it. I don't know if that makes sense, but that is exactly how I feel right now.  In my last performance review we talked about training (which I'm sure we should have been talking about my performance on the job, but it was totally relevant). He said there are 4 distinct levels of goals when training for an Iron Man:

  1. Make it to the start line.
    • That is arrive healthy and able to compete. Therefore, your training should not only prepare you for the race itself, but be such that you are healthy enough to do it.
  2. Finish.
  3. Set a PR.
  4. Qualify for Kona.
Those same levels of goals can also be applied to marathon training. So I am going to channel my obsession to focus on these four goals:
  1. Register. Make it to the start line.
  2. Finish.
  3. Finish in 4:30.00 or under.
  4. Do it again.
    • If I were not operating with all of my faculties this would say Qualify for Boston, but let's not turn this obsession into full on crazy.


Sunday, July 22, 2012


Marathon training is hard. It is much harder than I expected and its only week 3. Training is literally taking over my life. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can ...

Monday, July 9, 2012


I've always wanted to live in a big city. I love the idea of city living. Everything is conveniently close and easy to get to. I have been staying with a friend in Chicago for the past week and am absolutely loving it. Although my training isn't going exactly as I planned (we've been attending a lot of festivals, eating at all the great Chicago eateries and drinking libations) Chicago is a great place to run. It has been insanely and record breaking-ly hot here and with all the fun we've been having getting up at 5 am for a run just hasn't been in the plans. I ran a few times in the heat but didn't go over 3 miles. When I did run the 3 miles, I ran two outdoors and the final mile on an indoor track to escape the blistering heat. Finally, on Saturday afternoon there was a break in the heat wave and on Sunday afternoon I went for a run along the Lakeshore Trail. It was a beautiful run. It was the first long run of my marathon training plan. My goal was to run for at least an hour or 6 miles. The trail was so beautiful and inspiring I continued a little bit further to run 7.68 miles at a pace that felt effortless. I know I'll need to slow down during future long runs, but this pace felt good so I went with it.

A girl could get used to this...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rock & Roll

I toe the line for my first marathon in 129 days at the San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon. My training begins this week via a modified 16-week Hal Higdon intermediate marathon training program. I am both excited and nervous about training and running this race. I have always said that I am not crazy enough to run a a full marathon. Well, 2012 is the year I go crazy. With rumors of a zombie apocalypse and the world's end upon us (not that I believe any of it) I decided I'm going to get a little crazy too and a do a few things I have never done before (sky diving, rock climbing and parasailing included).   

Join me on this crazy journey of running and self discovery.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I haven't made it home for Mother's Day in a very long time. For those who live close to home, cherish every moment. Cherish the luxury of home.

Now Playing: Rascal Flatts - A Little Home

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Things I learned in Orlando

I travel a lot, but this last trip had me thinking about some things. I don't quite know what made this trip different or why my trip home was so bittersweet, but here are a few things I learned along the way.

Always pack studs. Ears should never be naked.
Pack a hat.
People will always shoot the messenger so brace yourself and bring your Kevlar.
10 days is way too long between hair washes.
First class upgrades are the shilz nilz (Jamie Foxx voice).
I am ready to be in a relationship.
My next move is not at all what I expected, but I am excited about it.
Adding condo with an amazing beach view to my vision board (soon after I create a vision board).
Once you've had a taste of the good life, there is no turning back.
I want to go back to school to get an RD license.
Great men are everywhere. "Don't let some fool give us all a bad name." (c) Rascal Flatts
You are always interviewing.
Ignant music (read: 2Chainz) has its place in the circle of life. "don't ask why just respect it..."
I wasn't created to be underrated or undervalued. "We gone laugh about the days I was broke." (c) Tank

Saturday, March 3, 2012


... and I will run 1,000 more.


I started a new running streak. I previously participated in the Runner's World 2011 Holiday Run Streak. The goal was to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day - 39 days of consecutive running.

I learned a lot about myself during this run streak. I ran in environments and at times I never thought I would:

·         I ran at 6 a.m.
·         I ran at 4 a.m.
·         I ran at 1 a.m. after hanging out in Atlanta (and two drinks).
·         I barely got by, beginning a run at 11:50 a.m.
·         I ran in 19 degrees.
·         I ran in rain, hail, sleet AND snow.
·         I ran in Indiana, Texas, Georgia, California, Ohio and Colorado.

The most important thing I experienced during this streak was the support of my family, friends and colleagues. I assumed everyone would think that was the crazy runner doing something they could never comprehend and actually discourage my running. To the contrary, and much to my surprise, they were very supportive of my endeavors. Everyone encouraged me to keep the streak going, no matter the obstacles (or the weather). They helped me define time amidst my busy schedule and were flexible with me in making plans, always asking “when are you going to run?”

In light of that positive experience, I decided to do another streak. The goal of this new running streak is to run everyday (at least one mile of course) from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. If I can do 39 days over the holidays, surely I can run 40 Days for Lent (48 to be exact). I am now 11 days into the streak (technically, 10 because I have yet to run on day 11 – I’ll handle that this afternoon) and am having a similar positive experience. So far the weather has been amazing and I haven’t had to run in too many crazy conditions. Yesterday, however, I ran in 27 mph winds amidst a tornado warning. For a good quarter mile stretch I felt like I was running in place. I do not advise this. Hopefully, this will be the only inclement weather run to report as spring rolls around the corner.

I am looking forward to learning more about myself and the sport of running during this streak. I will be sure to keep you posted. Until then, I wanted to share a quote/photo about running that I absolutely love:


The Full Mary

It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you ...

In a previous post, I committed to running my first full marathon in 2012. I am honoring that commitment and signing up for the San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon on November 11.

I put together my training program (thanks to our dear friend  Hal Higdon). I decided on an 18 week Novice 2 program that includes a 22 mile run. Most training progams stop at 20 miles and I don't understand why. 6.2 miles, after running 20, is a lot of miles to will your way through. I will feel more confident having at least experienced 20+  miles. I start my training the first week of July and am so very nervous about it. I am confident that I will finish the race and train without injury, but something about beginning this process makes me so nervous, excitingly so.

Until my training begins, I will keep up my base mileage and improve my functional fitness. I noticed a few months ago that my left leg felt more dominant during runs, especially on the treadmill. I started doing more body weight exercise, single leg and balance exercises to help. Marathon training is serious, so I want to make sure that my body is ready to handle the increase in mileage.

Oh man, here it goes ...